View Poll Results: Do you favor opening Law Enforcement firearms ranges to the general public?

Voters
14. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    14 100.00%
  • No

    0 0%
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Opening LEO Ranges to Civilians

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    32

    Post imported post

    When I was growing up in Orange County, CA (yes California) in the 1960's and 70's, my father (not a LEO) would take us shooting at the Orange Police Department's pistol range (it was open to the general public then).

    It was a very safe atmosphere, there was always at least one range officer available who could instruct you in firearms handling and safety. They even had rentals, you could shoot anything short of full auto on the premises, and even bring your own ammo. It helped build strong relationships between the general public and the police, and at one time I knew about 75% of the officers on the force.

    My question for the folks here is, would trying to get Law Enforcement ranges open to the general public be something that would interest you?

    I have the ear of a couple members of the House of Delegates, and am trying to get together a list of some proposed legislation (not all gun related), and this struck me as something interesting, as a lot of folks do not have convenient access to a commercial range, and may not be blessed with enough properly zoned property to shoot at home. It would also go a long way toward building relations between the police and the public, and updating both on the most current gun laws.

    Just looking for feedback.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Illinois, USA
    Posts
    778

    Post imported post

    I have two thoughts.

    First thought -I am opposed to government entities competing against private businesses.

    Second thought - its public property, why shouldn't the public be able to use it as long as it does not interfere with its primary function and a funding means can be arranged that covers any extra costs that might be incurred.

    I am sure there are all kinds of logistical and liability issues that would need to be resolved before something like this could be arranged.

    I was told that at one time the police ranges around here were open to the public, but when they built the new public safety building they decided not to allow the public to use the nice new range with all the bells and whistles. Supposedly the official reason was they did not want civilians to know how the local cops were training.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    32

    Post imported post

    ilbob, Thanks for replying.

    While I do share your opposition to government entities competing against private businesses, you are also correct in noting that we are paying for these facilities with our tax dollars.

    I am not looking at running the gun ranges out of business. In fact there are quite a few LEOs here in the Richmond area where I live that utilize the commercial ranges. But (as I stated above) there are a lot of folks that do not have ready access to a commercial range and don't have anywhere else to shoot. I am sure that you can agree that you are just asking for trouble if you carry a handgun and do not know how to use it. This would address the availability of training resources to assist the public in being more safe around handguns.

    It would also help to establish some much needed dialogue between the general public and the law enforcement community.

  4. #4
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The 'Dena, Mаяуlaпd
    Posts
    2,147

    Post imported post

    I have 2 ranges within 10 minutes another about 30 minutes. I wish had property to shoot on but don't have a problem finding ranges in this area.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Fauquier Co, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,297

    Post imported post

    There is a good chance that if the locality used any federal funding to construct the range, you have the right to use that facility. Thats Federal law already, do a little checking to see if that is the case.

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Burke/Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    998

    Post imported post

    As usual, Longwatch both beat me to making the post and is correct. There are some stipulations in the law about fees and military/police personal having priority, but ranges built with Federal funds should be open to the public.

    If we can ever take guns into D.C., I plan to visit the range at the FBI building. I saw it once when on a tour, and it seemed to be a first rate facility.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    32

    Post imported post

    Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. I will definitely check into whether my local PD's range was built with any federal funds. Guess I need to put in a FOIA request with the county.

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    20

    Post imported post

    That may be a possibility in some areas, but right now, I see just the opposite. LEOs are going to private ranges to shoot--in uniform. Bob's Gun Shop in Norfolk is giving LEOs 1/2 hour (per day or per week, I can't remember) because they don't have the facilities at their disposal. If they don't have a place to shoot, it's kinda hard for us to piggy-back.

  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Illinois, USA
    Posts
    778

    Post imported post

    In my neck of the woods LEOs use private ranges as well, but it is because their agencies do not want to spend the money to operate the ranges, rather than lack of range resources. I am told the local indoor police range is only used a few days a week.

    Part of the issue seems to be the outrageous cost to clean the range to remove lead dust after EVERY use to meet OSHA rules on lead exposure.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,715

    Post imported post

    Over the years, I've seen plenty of York County deputies at the Lafayette Gun Club. This is fine with most of us, since it gives us a chance to get to know the local LEO's. I'm not sure if the Shriff's Dept. has a designated facility of their own. Perhaps they use one of the local military bases.

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    416

    Post imported post

    I've been to private ranges where shooters and even some of the staff were Law Enforcement and/or Military. I have also shot on a Military Base while participating in a private training class. If opening LEO ranges to Civilians helps both parties-Agencies gaining revenue, Civilians a place to shoot. Then, why not ?

    ProguninTN

  12. #12
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,613

    Post imported post

    Many military bases/posts have ranges that are open to the public. Ft. Lee near Richmond in Petersburg is one that I frequent. The phone number there is (804) 765-1994 for the range or (804) 765-2212 for outdoor recreation if the range does not answer. Restriction: No aluminum "brass", eye and ear protection and don't shoot the @z%#@ target frames! Benefits: cheap, pistol, shootgun and rifle distances up to 300yds! Be forwarned the range officer comes across as a grouch (don't they all) but he's really a nice guy.
    Yata hey

















    0
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    28

    Post imported post





    Grapeshot wrote:
    Many military bases/posts have ranges that are open to the public. Ft. Lee near Richmond in Petersburg is one that I frequent. The phone number there is (804) 765-1994 for the range or (804) 765-2212 for outdoor recreation if the range does not answer. Restriction: No aluminum "brass", eye and ear protection and don't shoot the @z%#@ target frames! Benefits: cheap, pistol, shootgun and rifle distances up to 300yds! Be forwarned the range officer comes across as a grouch (don't they all) but he's really a nice guy.
    Yata hey

















    0
    Grapeshot... I used to go to that range, but it has been closed to the public for months now... Are you saying Ft. Lee is open to the public again?

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Virginia, ,
    Posts
    242

    Post imported post

    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    Over the years, I've seen plenty of York County deputies at the Lafayette Gun Club. This is fine with most of us, since it gives us a chance to get to know the local LEO's. I'm not sure if the Shriff's Dept. has a designated facility of their own. Perhaps they use one of the local military bases.
    Most LEO use private ranges because while they may have access to dept. range, the hours may be not fit best with their schedule. NOVA police dept I know has range time for their officers but it's during the day about 3 times a week and it's constantly busy with officers requalifing, recruits doing qualification and other stuff. For a LEO friend of mine, he tends to shoot with me because he works nights and range tends to be open in the morning while he's asleep.

  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    79

    Post imported post



    Norfolk used to have & may still have a fairly nice covered outdoor range on the back road behind the Norfolk airport. It used to be open to the public but it's been about 20 years since i shot there & i really can't remember if it's still there or not. It seems like it was still therea few years back.The surrounding cities also used Norfolks range back then.............................................. .........DF1

  16. #16
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,765

    Post imported post

    I was thinking about this just today. These police departments that say "to serve and protect" though the courts have ruled the police have no duty to protect.

    So why is it police departments don't offer basic pistol classes, handgun qualification classes, etc. The Fairfax County department teaches some possibly effective unarmed techniques (they won't let men watch, and they won't let those of us who are just interested audit a class first).
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    377

    Post imported post

    I asked the City of Alexandria if this would be possible along with some other money-saving or money-generating ideas. I framed the civilian use of the gun rangeidea as a way for the City to make some money (instead of continually jacking up property taxes). I figure if it is open, but not used all the time, why not make some range time available here in the City for a small fee covering some of the expense? Closest range I know of is in Lorton (Gilbert's Small Arms).

    City Council did not deign toreply.

    I like the "building rapport" with law enforcement angle. Give it a try!

    XD Owner

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Illinois, USA
    Posts
    778

    Post imported post

    XD Owner wrote:
    I like the "building rapport" with law enforcement angle. Give it a try!
    Why is it we are so worried about this issue. Shouldn'tgovernment employees be more worried about building up rapport with us citizens?

    It seems tome the whole thing got turned around somewhere along the line.

  19. #19
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,613

    Post imported post

    Re: Ft. Lee actually I have not been to this range in a number of months now. I'm going to have to check out the situation. Why did it close?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •